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India-born Republican survives motion to oust him as county leader for being Muslim

Press Trust of India  |  Houston 

Shaid Shafi, an India-born Republican facing removal as county for being a Muslim, will remain in office as his party officials have overwhelmingly slapped down a motion to oust him from the post of

The Republican Party rejected the motion to strip Shafi, a of the Southlake City Council, at a contentious meeting on Thursday.

The committee voted 139-49 in favour of Shafi, with 10 abstentions, Washington-based website The reported.

"This vote reaffirms the commitment by a majority of to our core values and moral compass, a demonstration of our allegiance to the Republican Party Platform and the Constitutions of the and Texas, which strictly prohibit religious and racial discrimination of any kind," Party said.

Shafi said he was "honoured and privileged to receive the support of my fellow Republicans" and emphasised that he held no ill will towards those who voted against him.

A small but vocal minority of the county's 269 precinct chairs was behind the push to remove Shafi from his leadership position.

Shafi received an outpouring of support from across the state, including from Republican and George P Bush, leading up to the vote.

Shafi, born in and raised in Pakistan, travelled to the US to study medicine. He became a naturalised citizen in 2009 and, since then, has been involved with the Republican Party.

"Religious litmus tests are wrong, whether they occur in my party or whether its Democratic Senators who have questioned Catholic judges' ability to be unbiased. What matters is a person's character, judgment and values. has all three," Bush said on

Shafi was appointed to the position in July with overwhelming support from in Tarrant County, which is Texas' third-largest county in terms of population.

A sole opposed Shafi at that time and tried to whip up opposition for him in the six months since then.

O'Brien cited the Muslim doctor's faith as her reason for opposing him in a post last month.

"We don't think he's suitable as a practising Muslim to be because he'd be the for ALL Republicans in Tarrant County, and not ALL Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable in the US, in Tarrant County, and in the TCGOP, and there are big questions surrounding exactly where Shafi's loyalties lie vis a vis Democrat and Republican policies," she wrote.

In a January 4 post, she falsely accused Shafi of having ties to the

Another wrote Tuesday on he would vote against Shafi because he "refused to renounce and repudiate" an endorsement from the (CAIR).

Shafi denied any ties to CAIR.

In an open letter, he wrote that he believed "much of the hate against Muslims is driven by a fear of terrorism", he said.

"Here are the facts. I have never had any association with the nor (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) nor any terrorist organisation," he wrote.

"I believe that the laws of our nation are our Constitution and the laws passed by our elected legislatures I have never promoted any form of Sharia Law. I fully support and believe in American Laws for American Courts. I am honoured to be an American and a Republican," he was quoted as saying by The

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 14:10 IST